The 40-year-old Culinary Intern

I was a nervous wreck on Monday. Not only was this the first day of my culinary internship in Boston, but the first time I had ever ridden the subway (the T) alone. Highway traffic was relatively busy, which I expected. But I never anticipated the power going out on the T, having to get off before my scheduled stop and having to get on a city bus. To make a long story short, I missed my stop, had to get on another bus to backtrack, and arrived 20 minutes late.

I called ahead of time, but being late was not really the first impression I hoped to present on the first day – I HATE being late; I’m never late, ever. By day three, I figured out the traffic pattern, so I won’t be late again; in fact, I’ve been arriving an hour early, which gives me quiet time in the morning to do my recipe research.

Working in a test kitchen is amazing — the number of recipes that are being developed and created at any given time throughout the day is impressive, surpassing any restaurant who boasts covers of 200 or more a night. From an intern’s perspective, I’m exposed to the repetition I would have experienced if working in a restaurant, with the creative collaboration that wouldn’t have come until I reached the point of sous or executive chef. There is a constant ebb and flow of ideas, collaboration and exchange, as well as serious testing and production of food.

Our internship managers give each intern a project, which involves researching and testing a recipe to hand in to the editorial team for review. I was told we don’t receive the information until week #8, but I started brainstorming ideas already — I was too excited.

I’m exhausted beyond description. Every muscle in my body aches, I’m mentally tired, physically tired, but loving every minute of it!